This is the third outing for Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, and it’s quite a bit more gruesome than the last two. Someone is murdering and mutilating young men, leaving their bodies to be found at dawn with strange objects in their mouths. Sir Henry Lovejoy, Chief Magistrate, has asked Devlin to help out with the case since Devlin’s keen intellect and attention to detail served well on two other occasions to solve the crime. At first, Devlin is hesitant to get involved – he would rather spend time searching for his mother, whom he’d previously believed dead; along with wooing Kat Boleyn in hopes of convincing her to accept his proposal of marriage.
It doesn’t take long, however, before he is drawn into finding out what happened to the victims. There is a connection between them, and after a couple more deaths are linked to the same killer, it’s clear that something happened in the past to their parents. The fathers are clearly hiding something, and attempt to keep Devlin from discovering the truth. Naturally, he isn’t dissuaded and ferrets out the shocking tale that occurred several years prior. To be honest, the event that led to the murders is definitely ugly and some readers may find it distasteful. Devlin soon narrows down the culprit, and has to race to save the next victim before it’s too late.
Along with the main mystery, there are still the personal issues Devlin has to deal with, including the relationship with his father which has been further complicated by the revelation that he knew Devlin’s mother faked her own death. As for Kat, she is still dealing in secrets that may cause her personal downfall and Devlin wants to marry her to give her the protection of his name. However, towards the end of the book there is a huge twist I didn’t see coming, and it affects their relationship plus the one with his father in a negative manner. I’m looking forward to the next book to see how that all plays out!